Laneway 2015 @ RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane, 31.01.2015 – Part 1


In recent years I’ve generally concluded that Laneway is the best of the major Australian festivals, the depressing thing that in 2015 it’s almost gains that complement by default through being the only festival left.

Depressingly for me it means that my festival season is over and done with by the end of January. I would have loved to photograph Soundwave again this year, having covered the last five, but have no one to photograph for this time. The Vine, who I’d covered it for previously, didn’t have any interest, I’m guessing owing to their change of ownership last year. Anticipating this, I contacted Soundwave last year through their media account email to ask them to add my CB reviews editor email address to their database and keep me informed of their tours/accreditation processes/interview ops etc. Although Collapse Board never ventures in metal territory, the relative lack of women on the line-up year-after-year, means that I think we should be covering any opportunity we can get. Although there was no dream billing of Babymetal on this year’s line-up, we should have been seeking out people like La Butcherettes.

Of course being Australian music industry PR, I never heard anything back from them. It’s extremely frustrating looking at some of the online media that did get photo accreditation to cover this year’s Soundwave and seeing based on the web stats that you can easily access, that Collapse Board’s reader statistics smash them out of the park, and we’re far from the heady days of our prime readership.

Having written the above paragraphs at the time, or at least in early 2015, it’s now over 12 months on and I have no notes are to how the day panned out. I managed to get on the Soundwave mailing list for Collapse Board and the festival was promptly cancelled when I might have gotten back into the fold to photograph it again.

The main comment about Laneway 2015 was that it moved location, from the end of the RNA Showgrounds being developed, its home for the last few years since its move from Winn Lane/The Zoo, to the other side of the showgrounds. The old location had a number of problems, predominantly sound related, and in particular those related to positioning stages in a steel roofed cattleshed building, but the closeness of the stages meant getting around was easy. The photo pit of any stage was probably less than two minutes from any of the other photo pits. It meant maximising the time available to actually watch the bands throughout the day, minimising the effort needed to get through the crowd and to the next photo pit.

The new location is where a chunk of Soundwave used to be located, it’s a much bigger area but one that lacks anything in the way of charm. It’s part car park, part grass area, part thoroughfare. Much like Big Day Out, the two largest stages have been located next to each other (inside a tent) to allow one to be used while the other is set up for the next act. The Future Classic Stage is also in a big top, while the Mistletone stage has most of the acts I want to photograph most of all during the day but is the smallest of the lot and located the other side of the infamous underpass.

It still might be the best of the festival lineups, but bigger doesn’t mean better and you get the feeling it’s becoming just AN Other Australian music festival.

Highlights of the first part of the day are Perfect Pussy & Tkay Maidza.  Perfect Pussy because of being such an exciting live band to see, Tkay Maidza because she definitely has a star quality about her.

The musical lowlights from the first part of the day are, as they usually are, the other Australian acts, the ones who aren’t Tkay Maidza.  I know they’re all at the start of their careers and getting on the line-up, as so much is with regard to opportunities in the Australian music industry, is a lot to do with who you know, rather than what you know, but it’s just the typical story of average triple j fodder and little that stands out as someone to keep an eye out for in the future.

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